May 24, 2022

Chester P&Z to Hold Public Hearing on Rules Change for Route 154 Market

CHESTER— The planning and zoning commission will hold a public hearing Thursday on a request to ease rules prohibiting on-site consumption of food at the Organon Market on Route 154. The public hearing convenes at 7:30 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.

56 Middlesex Avenue LLC, the property owner, and Peter Kehayias, the applicant, are asking the commission to remove a condition from the panel’s August 2011 special permit approval for the market that prohibited any “service of food at tables either in the building of the parking lot.” The commission approved a special permit for a market in the 56 Middlesex Avenue building after a lengthy process that included an initial denial and court appeal by Kehayias.

During the months long approval process, Kehayias was appointed as a member of the commission. The building at 56 Middlesex Avenue, also known as Route 154, had been vacant for several years before the Organon Market opened last year.

In a written statement accompanying the request to amend the special permit approval, Kehayias advised that he is requesting a “clarification” and a “more relaxed policy about what people can do,” on the property. Kehayias noted that people are already purchasing sandwiches and other items from the market and beginning to consume the items in the parking area or at the nearby Chester War Memorial site.

In the statement, Kehayias advised that he has no plans to begin a restaurant-type operation at the market, but noted that under the language of the permit approval he is even prohibited from offering customers a free sample of items that are for sale at the market.